Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien ChienHot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien
Series: Noodle Shop Mystery #8
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on January 25, 2022
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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four-stars

At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.

When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.

Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers—all of whom seem to have a motive.

As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly.

Hot and Sour Suspects is the 8th in the Noodle House Mystery series and I’ve read them all. I like Lana. She’s funny and sarcastic, a little reckless, and she loves donuts. She is surrounded by quirky friends and a warm, loving family who only nag her occasionally. She manages the family’s Ho-Lee Noodle House in the Asian Village shopping center. This time around, after an evening of speed dating at the restaurant, a man is dead in his apartment, and Rina, one of Lana’s friends from the mall, is clearly the prime suspect. Megan and Lana decide they need to prove Rina’s innocence, even if Rina herself doesn’t want them digging around.

I love the characters in this series and the setting. It does always make me want to order Chinese takeout though. The mystery in this one was fine. Lana has help from both Megan and Kimmy and they do make a fun, mildly incompetent, team. Lana’s detective boyfriend, Adam, is actually in charge of the police investigation, but instead of “forbidding” Lana to do her own snooping, he asks her to kind of keep it to herself. I like that he almost trusts her abilities but still worries about her. And really he should worry, how many times does she end up walking straight into danger in this series? I didn’t know who the killer was until Lana did. Lana has developed quite the reputation as an amateur sleuth, which both is both helpful and not.

Overall, Hot and Sour Suspects was a light, enjoyable read. I hope we get to visit the Noodle Shop again.

About Vivien Chien

Vivien Chien

Vivien Chien first started writing simple stories about adventures with her classmates when she was in elementary school. As she grew up, her love of books and the written word increased, leading to the attempt of her first novel at age 16. After many struggled beginnings and several different genres, she found her passion in the mystery world.

When she’s not writing, she can be found frolicking in the bookstore or searching for her next bowl of noodles. She has a soft spot for doughnuts, a healthy love for coffee, and an extreme need to participate in random acts of crafting.

She currently lives in Cleveland where she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier.

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